Government policies and SMEs

18 June 2010

Lord Sugar opened a debate in the House of Lords on Thursday 17 June on the effect of government policies, such as proposals for capital gains tax, on small and medium sized enterprises.

Lord Sugar raised his concern about the effect of increasing capital gains tax on entrepreneurship, particularly businesses set up with the intention of ‘floating them or selling them by way of trade sale.’ He also said that he was concerned about the ‘effect on enterprise and employment.’

Other points raised by Lord Sugar in his remarks opening the debate were:

  • the effect of cutting investment allowance and the costs of regional development agencies
  • tapered tax relief
  • differentiating between business and non-business assets
  • developing a simplified and unified system for approving small businesses for government procurement lists
  • bank lending to small businesses.

Issues raised during the debate included:

  • using carbon emissions targets to encouraging the development of green technologies
  • support and mentoring for small businesses, particularly black, Asian and minority ethnic-led businesses
  • encouraging enterprise through tax exemptions 
  • the role of women entrepreneurs and women business owners, and their contribution to the economy, including women from minority ethnic groups
  • credit facilities for small suppliers and ensuring timely payment by buyers for their services
  • impact of regulations such as those governing health and safety and employment rights
  • finance for small businesses, including through credit unions.

Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills responded on behalf of the Government.

Further information

Keeping a check on government by scrutinising its activities is an aspect of the integral role of the House of Lords to the work of Parliament.

Members apply the breadth of their individual experiences, knowledge and expertise to examine a topical issue in debates, with former holders of ministerial posts for government departments related to the topic taking part in the discussion. Their expert and experienced viewpoint on legislation and policy complements the work of the House of Commons.

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